We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Tuesday, April 14. 2009
People vary enormously in their levels of life functioning, talents, and life-mastery, don't they? Nature confers variety - not equality - because variety is essential for a species to survive when circumstances change.
You could make a graph of the people you meet by rating their functioning in various areas on a 0-10 scale:
...and so forth.
Feel free to graph yourself on these items - but do not call me if you feel depressed afterwards. We are supposed to identify our weaknesses, and to work on them if we feel motivated to do so.
Most of these qualities are subsumed under what we term "ego functions." (We shrinks use the term "ego" to refer to the tools we have to mediate between our "inner" selves and external reality, not the casual, non-technical meaning of "self-centeredness.") My well-exercised shrink brain tends to measure these things about people on autopilot, even when I try to turn it off. (I also "take my own inventory" frequently with pitiless honesty, and I have my own share of frailties.)
Nevertheless, all of these factors feed into one's ability to construct a life in a free country. Yes, a life must be constructed like a building, but usually with changes along the way.
Fortunately, the world offers things for almost every person to do - and in which to excel if they wish - regardless of how their unique graph maps out. It's generally the pattern of strengths and weaknesses that matters, not the overall "score."
However, I can say, after many years of careful observation of humans, that the folks I have known with the highest overall scores have been military officers, physicians, ranchers, and investment bankers. Don't argue that with me - that's just my own limited life experience.
Many of the most interesting people I have known have very high scores in some areas and very low ones in other areas. That might be part of what makes people interesting. Perfect scores would be the most boring person in the world.
But that doesn't matter, because in America we all play the cards we are dealt, and we all get to make the most of what we have - and to try to develop where we are lacking if we want to, and we get to play out our hand in whatever way we chose, given the heavy constraints of mean old Mr. Harsh Reality (including the chance to write run-on sentences).
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We are supposed to identify our weaknesses, and work on them.
capacity for kindness, empathy and love
How'd the 19th Amendment work out.
I'm a professional coach and we do a similar exercise, grading different aspects on a persons or teams game. There are 2 schools of thought after that:
1) focus on the bad parts and try to bring them up
and the more interesting one
2) Focus on the stuff they are already good at and really drive it home. This is especially effective when coaching young people, bc it saves their ego and they get easily frustrated focusing on things they don't do well. Its also easy to get enthused about practice when you are already ok at something. Over time (and it takes more time) the things they are deficient at begin to improve as well and they end up at a higher level overall.
I'm not sure this will work with personality traits, but for some it will be effective.
Enjoy this fine spring day, I'm off to practice!
May I direct you folks to the new "change agents"? I think the Barrister might also enjoy this:
"We all play the cards we are dealt, buts it's how we play those cards that's important. We usually don't get to play out our hand in what ever way we choose.
I have absolutely no need for self evaluation. I have been rated by experts.
I was married three times.
That is really funny. I'm serious. Only once for me, but she has multiple personalities.
If we're counting that way then I'm going to have to take my socks off. Course I'm not all that stable myself. I'm getting back together with the first one.
That's good, Roy. You've worked all the kinks out. Good luck!
I highly recommend something called the "hysterectomy". It's done wonders for what the "experts" said was wrong with me. Funny thing is, they did this procedure on my wife but it cleared up all of my personality disorders.
May I add... hahahahahahahah, I have tears running down my cheeks, hahahahahah!
I know whereof Roy and KRW speak. I am in my forth and hahahahaha, I can't stop, Wife number two was the witch and all the shrinks and psychologists couldn't put hump me or dump me back together again. They even tried to take me apart, the morons. Wife # three was the charm, loved that woman to death, really, she died in my arms at only 48 While I was recovering I didn't realize that all the feminine attention was not wholly altruistic. I found out that I was referred to as "The Saint" and I was prime game. I felt like a fugitive from a French farce. I swore I was finished with women and then slave showed up!
At 65 I am blessed with the most adoring and serving piece of femininity you could imagine.
Ego, nah, well ok a little one because wife # one still tells everyone I am a great guy. I still don't need glasses so I must be doing it the right way, damn life is good!
Oh, I am a retired fighter pilot and an offshore sailor.
Things are so much better now I don't know how I put up with life being hell every 3-4 weeks but I'm glad I did. I'll spare the mushy details but now that we're out of the woods, so to speak, my contempt for these "experts" with whom we wasted so much time, money, and energy borders on madness. I'd see an "expert" about it, but....
"...the folks I have known with the highest overall scores have been military officers, physicians, ranchers, and investment bankers."
That is a fascinating observation and I couldn't agree with you more. Key word for all of them: Discipline.
I'm trying very hard to believe you 'know' none of them from your practice. You actually know a rancher?
Capt. Craig, you devil you! You fighter pilots are so much fun -- exhausting, but a lot of fun. And when you combine it with offshore sailing. Ohh, dear, I might faint. When you're ready for wife number five, I might still be alive, and we could get together.
Here's to matrimony, the high sea for which no compass has yet been invented-----------Heinrich Heine
I wasn't writing about patients - just people in general that I have known.